Granton

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Granton
HMS Cochrane I (1914-18), HMS Lochinvar (1943-46)
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1914-1918, 1942-1946
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Part ofRosyth Command (1914-18)
Leith and Granton (1943-46)

Granton was a Royal Navy base and naval command established in November 1914 as one of the geographical divisions into which the Royal Navy administered its worldwide responsibilities. It was defined so by the Department of Admiralty to identify the area jurisdiction of the Captain in Charge, Granton then later Senior Naval Officer, Granton and existed November 1918 when it was deactivated.[1] It was reactivated during World War Two from 1942 until 1946.

For command purposes the Royal Navy was divided into a number of major or local stations, fleets or or other formations, each normally under an admiral or senior officer.[2]

History

In 1834 Edinburgh debated the need for a larger harbour. James Walker in his capacity as President of the Institution of Civil Engineers oversaw a committee, also including Admiral David Milne, to choose between three options: an extension to the existing Leith Docks; a new harbour at Trinity or a new harbour at Granton. The initial bid for Trinity did not receive parliamentary consent and in 1836 a second Bill promoting Granton was agreed. It received Royal Assent on 21 April 1837.[3]

During the First World War Granton harbour was used as a naval base for mine-sweeping equipment: mainly Scottish trawlers and their crews, called into active service and conscripted as part of the Royal Navy Reserve. During this period the harbour was officially renamed as "HMS Gunner" when referred to in military documents, in reference to the name of the largest trawler in its fleet. The harbour was then home to mine-sweepers, decoy ships (Q-ships), and anti-submarine vessels. The north section held smaller support vessels specifically built for Navy use, including 24 motor launches, 18 paddle mine-sweepers, and 30 boom-defence vessels, with a total of 103 craft.[4] In addition it served as an operational base for Auxiliary Patrol Area VII.[5] The Auxiliary Patrol was part of the Royal Naval Patrol Service.

During World War Two from 1943 to 1946, Granton was home of the shore-based Minesweeping Training Establishment called HMS Lochinvar. As the scale of the harbour restricted ship size, it became a site for scrapping former Royal Navy ships, including HMS Newportand and HMS Hedingham Castle.

In Command

Captain-in-Charge, Granton (1914-1915)

Senior Naval Officer, Granton (1915-1918)

Components

At various times it encompassed naval formations and other ships not attached to other fleets. In addition to shore establishments including, barracks, dockyards, depots, hospitals, refitting and re-supply bases, naval bases or victualling yards. Those components that were part of this station are shown below.

Formations

Unit From To Ref
12th Minesweeper Flotilla 1918 1918 [6]
16th Minesweeper Flotilla 1918 1918 [7]
4th Sloop Flotilla 1918 1918
Auxiliary Patrol 1914 1918

Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Granton Naval Base 1914 1918

References

  1. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (20 July 2017). "Granton - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  2. "Records of Stations and Fleets". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Kew, Surrey, England.: National Archives UK. 1702–1969. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  3. Stranger on the Shore, by James Gracies ISBN 1-902831-535
  4. The War at Sea: WW100 Scotland
  5. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (20 July 2017). "Granton" - The Dreadnought Project.
  6. Watson, Dr Graham (27 October 2015). "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment,World War One 1914-1918: SCOTTISH COAST COMMAND". naval-history.net. Gordon Smith. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  7. Watson. SCOTTISH COAST COMMAND.